Hello. My name is Cheryl Rickman.
I’m an author, ghostwriter, positive psychology practitioner and life enthusiast.
I write books to help people fret less and flourish more and I help bring out the book in well-being experts, TV personalities and business leaders who don't have the time to write their own manuscript.
I've written 13 of my own books, including, Tree Glee, You Are Enough, Navigating Loneliness, which has a Foreword by Terry Waite, The Happiness Bible, and a best-selling business start-up guide with a Foreword by Dame Anita Roddick.
I've also written a how-to book on digital business, a well-being-boosting self-help guide called The Flourish Handbook, a colouring-book for grown-ups, The Flourish Colouring Book, and an empowering gender-stereotype busting children's book, called YES YOU CAN!
After 18 years as an author and ghostwriter of business and self-help books, I now focus on writing books which help people fret less and flourish more.
I’ve ghostwritten a total of 13 books over the past decade, taking my total tally to 26 books.
I’ve been a professional writer for 17 years and self-employed for 21.
During those years, I have worked alongside leaders in their field, interviewed hundreds of popstars and business personalities and had work published in The Huffington Post, Better Business and Psychologies Magazine, among others. I am also an Ambassador for The Network of Wellbeing and had a Lifestyle column in The Daily Echo for a couple of years.
They have also written about my various shenanigans, including my recent #43ActsofKindness. (which is jolly nice of them).
I also created some characters called the Climbing Trees girls (see below) who have their own mission: to help children to see past gender-stereotypes and be proud to be all that they are.
Absolutely all that I do is about helping people to FLOURISH in their life, in business and in childhood; to create new empowering habits.
To blossom from seedling to spruce.
To nourish the roots of positivity and sow seeds of hope.
To attract abundance and wellness like sweet blossom attracting bees.
To adapt to change in a resilient way like trees to seasons.
To fertilise and ripen fruitful dreams.
If I can help just one person feel less “hmpf” and more “yay”; less pessimistic and more appreciative; less hard on themselves and more proud of themselves… then I will feel like I’ve served my purpose and done what I am here to do; to enable flourishing so people can do what they love, love what they do, and better connect with others and the natural world, to live their best possible life.
I want to live in a RESILIENT world where we are better equipped to deal with stress, cope with hardships and make the most of whatever life throws at us, even the heart-wrenching hard stuff.
I want to live in an ACCEPTING world where we have the choice and freedom to be our true whole authentic selves instead of feeling forced to conform to limited definitions which restrict our ability to shine with confidence and flourish.
I was born in Southampton 47 years ago, spent 12 years living in a tiny village and currently live in a country cottage in the Hampshire countryside, surrounded by fields and trees. I LOVE trees, friendship and fiorentina pizza. I love stretching out on the sofa with a good book and stretching my legs on daily gratitude walks. I once fell off the stage into the band. I love to read, learn and grow. I also (obvs) adore my daughter, who is my complete and utter sunshine.
It's been a rollercoaster ride of journey so far.
Thank you for popping along to my little web home.
As a child, I looked up to my incredibly inspirational mum. She had the debilitating disease MS but, despite having plenty to whine about she never complained and constantly smiled.
My mum Denise and dad Roger met when they joined the same pop group and made it through to Melody Maker finals. I found this to be suitably cool and loved them both deeply.
I also loved how passionate my dad was about a) his guitar playing and b) his garden. I noticed a difference in him when he was playing with me or his aforementioned musical / botanical instruments of joy.
Mum once said, 'I may not be able to walk, but I can watch you grow.'
I realised then that how you chose to SEE life and REACT to what is thrown your way really matters in how you get through life and what you get out of it.
Simultaneously I knew from the first time I read Charlie and The Chocolate Factory under our Indian Bean Tree that I wanted to write and that I wanted to work from my home and garden.
Writing from home became my ambition and, today, it is my complete and utter passion (along with reading).
I didn't seem to have the immense imaginative talent to write fiction though, so I wrote features instead.
I interviewed lots of people. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things at first. Then successful people - popstars and rockstars for the music magazine site I set up with my other half, then business leaders and a range of inspirational people for business magazines and how-to-start-and-grow-a-business type books.
I learned a lot about achievement and failure and persistence from these others.
But, from myself, I learned resilience.
When I was 17 years old, my darling mum died.
It hit me hard. How could/why would this happen?
Yet, somehow, I summoned my inner strength, picked myself up and I lived.
I realised then that life was short. Hers was. She was 43.
After I'd come up for air and worked through my grief (and turbo-powered teenage angst/guilt/rebellion) I decided that, I actually wanted to make the most of my life.
And so I stopped fopping around and raving on and sorted myself out.
I became my own boss, working from home, walking my dog in between writing features, websites and interviews.
A decade later, after pursuing and succeeding at my own dreams of becoming a free-range-author, I decided I wanted to help others to do the same; to live with intention and optimism; to make the most of their lives; like my mum had done and like my dad had just begun to do.
I decided to study positive psychology – the study of optimal human flourishing.
I wanted to write a book that carved the core pillars of well-being into an easy to read practical guide that could equip people with strategies and habits, whilst taking them on a journey to flourishing step-by-step, month-by-month.
I was drawn to this topic because I had witnessed first hand how different approaches to life can have a huge impact on how we live it and what we get out of it. Life that is.
Despite his love for music and his awe-inspiring gardening, dad found living a strain. He had always found life tough, from childhood until about 8 years ago when he finally found the job of his dreams, dancing on cruise ships. That was when he started to really LIVE his life, finally.
Unlike my disabled yet smiley-faced mum, my able-bodied yet depressed dad struggled with life and with her disability. Mum and dad were polar opposites – my mum was confident and positive, my dad shy and depressed.
That said, dad was one of the nicest and funniest men you'd ever meet.
But also, behind closed doors, one of the saddest.
Just three short weeks after this diagnosis, my dear dad was dead.
I didn’t show him the book as it was about living and he was shockingly about to lose his life. I just told him about it and he was, of course, immensely proud. But I didn’t expect to put the wisdom in that book into practice myself so soon.
Ironically, I’d been writing about how supportive relationships and wells of stored positivity bolster resilience during tough times, and now here I was, living proof of the science behind positive psychology. The content I’d been researching and writing was happening to me in real-time. My life echoed my prose.
Through the intensely heart-breaking shock and tears, I was somehow finding a way to bounce-back, despite it all. Those friendships bolstered my resilience, as did all those years of focusing on the good. It really helped me in my darkest hours during which I cried, 'not him as well?!'
I vowed that serving others would be my life's purpose...
Now, as well as penning business books that enable businesses (and thus the economy) to flourish, I also write about resilience and positivity, about gratitude and grace, about purpose and connection.
I recently collaborated on a colouring book too :-)
Writing books which help people to cope with and cherish life is my passion.
I also take a bunch of 40 women on a Flourish Seaside Weekender every year.
It's empowering to get away from it all - and it's rewarding to see like-minded-ladies being themselves, enjoying themselves, giving themselves a break.
I know what it’s like to suffer deep loss.
I know what it’s like to want to get your message out there.
I know what it’s like to want the best for your children.
And I would love to help you.
Whether you wish to author a book, learn how to flourish in life or business or teach your children how to flourish as they grow – I’d love to hear from you.